GOD SEEN THROUGH EVIDENCE IN US
12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. 1 John 4:12
Have you ever been able to paint a picture with words? I know that may sound a little out there for some of us today, but I know that there are a lot of things in this world that is hard to conceive without physically seeing it. But I guess the question is whether or not we are able to envision something based on the things that surround us. For example, sometimes we are unable to see the bird but we hear the song. In our minds we know that it is a bird, and so we are able to put two and two together to help distinguish the image of a bird based on birds we have seen before. Same may be true with other things that exist but we cannot physically see them right now. So I am going to write a few words and I want to know what the first images that come into your mind. OK... Here we go. Ocean...Car...Tree... Dog...Church... Cheeseburger. Ok, I threw in the last one to just be a little funny, but when you read the words, were you able to envision an image of the word? I would hope that we would all be able to say yes. However, I can also venture to say that probably none of us had the same image of each of those items. We have all been influenced in our own way to perceive the image based on our own personal experiences in life.
Now I am going to say one more word and I would love for you to focus on that word and try to describe in your own words what you see. Ready? GOD... I am just wondering how you would describe your perception of God. Even though no one has seen the fullness of God,
except maybe Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, I am truly wondering what you pictured. For some of you it may have been a person that looks like a grandfather dressed all in white, with long white hair and a long white robe. For others of you, you may see God more like Morgan Freeman since he played God in both Bruce and Evan Almighty. For others of you, God's image may be made up of something that is completely abstract and based on your personal experiences or encounters with God. God is God and there may not be anything more to explain except the fact that we have had some type of encounter with our Creator and the evidence is mostly expressed through grace, love, and mercy. I am not trying to throw us a curve ball, but I am wanting to know how you envision GOD since we pray to God each day. What is the image of peace, strength, freedom, assurance, comfort, etc... that we place in our hearts and minds that allows us to step forward in our faith journey and take on each day with perseverance and joy?
If you struggled to fully come up with an image for God, don't worry you are not alone. For centuries, people have struggled to portray a physical image of God. John even struggled to explain it to those who questioned him continuously on how they could believe in God when they had never fully seen God. And that is where we come to our Scripture for today. Look at his words again, " No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us." No one has physically seen the face of God, but we do know that Moses was blessed with having the opportunity to see the back of God. After this encounter, he had to stay in the tent for multiple days because his faced glowed so brightly by just being in the presence of God. And yes I did reference the possibility of Adam and Eve having been able to see God only because of the reference that God walked amongst them daily in the Garden of Eden and I really don't know what that was like in the early days of Creation. But what I am saying is that John is sharing the fact that people are able to see God through our actions. Love, once again, is an action word, and the world is able to see God through our ability to express God's love to others. John was battling with people who had not seen Jesus, and wanted more proof than just saying that there was a God. They wanted a tangible god that they could physically see and touch, and that is why idols and statues were so important to them in ancient times. They desired to make the gods more life like so that they could feel more connected in hopes of receiving more blessings in this world.
So I want to ask you today about how you display God to the world. If the only way that others can see God is through our personal experiences, how are we doing at creating an image for others to see God? Are we living our lives in such a way that others can experience God through our actions. I know that we have talked about this before, but I just really am interested in the image of God that I portray to you each day. We are called to help others
to see God, and I hope and pray that as each day passes, our actions reflect the power of God in our lives. I pray that we will be able to find ways to be complete and not lacking anything because of the grace and mercy that God gives to us on a daily basis. I know that it may not be the same for you, but for me, I am able to see God through the selflessness of others. There are characteristics of God that I see in the lives of those who help others and it helps me to see a more complete image of God. Our example helps others to be able to see God more clearly. All I know is that I want to help others see Jesus. I want to do all that I can to share God's love that has been lavished on me and allowed me to see God more clearly. I know that we have not physically seen God, but as John says, we are able to be found complete because of the love that lives in us through Christ. Please remember that we may be the ONLY example of God's love that someone may see in their entire lifetime. Please let it be one that creates an image of God that is telling of His great love.